Common-law marriage has diverse names, from "marriage in fact", "marriage by repute and habit", "informal…
Where to Apply
How do I get a New Hampshire marriage license?
You may apply for a New Hampshire marriage license at any city or town clerk's office.
May I apply for a remarriage license?
You may apply for a regular marriage license to remarry your present spouse.
Is there a residency requirement?
There are no residency requirements to marry in New Hampshire.
Is U.S. citizenship necessary to marry?
You need not be a U.S. citizen to marry in New Hampshire.
What if I'm a nonresident and underage?
If both of you are nonresidents under the age of 18, you may not apply for a marriage license.
How much is a marriage license?
A New Hampshire marriage license costs $50. This fee is nonrefundable.
How much is a marriage certificate?
A certified copy of a New Hampshire marriage certificate costs $15. Extras are $10 each.
How much is a marriage record amendment?
City and town clerks charge $10 to amend a birth, death, or marriage record. But, it's free if the clerk erred.
Where may I use my marriage license?
Your New Hampshire marriage license is valid statewide.
May I use a neighboring state's marriage license?
You must use a New Hampshire marriage license to marry in New Hampshire.
May I use a New Hampshire marriage license out-of-state?
New Hampshire marriage licenses are not valid in other states or countries.
May I get married offshore on a boat or plane?
You may get married offshore if it's within three miles of New Hampshire's coastline.
Do I have to apply in person?
Only members of the U.S. armed forces may send a proxy to apply on their behalf.
May we both apply absentee?
Both of you may apply absentee if both are U.S. service members.
Do we have to apply together?
You do not have to apply for a marriage license together. Whoever arrives last must pay for and pick up the license.
What do I fill out on the marriage license application?
You must answer the following on the intention of marriage worksheet or application:
- Bride, groom, or spouse
- First, middle, last, and suffix
- Surname at birth
- New name after marriage
- New last name
- New middle name
- State or foreign country of birth
- Date of birth
- E.g., American Indian, Black, White, etc
- E.g., English, Puerto Rican, etc
- K-12 and college
- Phone number
- Mailing address
- Residential address
- Street, city/town/location, county, state, and country
- Social security number
- Prior relationships
- Total marriages and civil unions
- Last ended by (e.g., death, divorce, dissolution)
- Last end date
- Ceremony info
- If known
- Ceremony date
- Ceremony city or town
- Officiant's name, title, and address
- Full names
- Surnames at birth
- States or foreign countries of birth
How old must I be to get married?
Aged 18 and over?
If you're 18 years old or older, you may marry without parental or judicial consent.
Aged 16 and 17?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, family court and a custodial parent or guardian must approve your marriage.
Aged 15 and under?
On June 18, 2018, Gov. Sununu signed HB1587, which increased the marriage age to 16.
What are the rules for underage marriage?
Who grants consent?
Only one custodial parent or guardian must consent to their child's marriage in court.
Is there a cutoff age?
If you're 16 or 17 years old, you may only marry another 16- or 17-year-old.
Who files the court petition?
Parties to the marriage must petition a family court in either minor's jurisdiction.
What if I don't live in New Hampshire?
If both of you are minors, yet one lives in New Hampshire, you may still petition a court.
What if neither of us lives in New Hampshire?
If both of you are minors and nonresidents, you may not petition a court.
What happens during a court petition?
The following occurs after you file your petition:
- Hearing scheduled
- On camera interviews
- Parent or guardian consents
- Court decides if marriage is in everyone's best interest
What will the court give me?
If approved, you'll get a court-ordered age waiver. Show it to the city or town clerk when applying for a marriage license.
Does New Hampshire encourage premarital education?
New Hampshire does not have a state-sanction premarital education program.
When will I get my marriage license?
You will get your marriage license after both of you sign the application.
When may I use my license?
You may get married the same day you get your marriage license.
When will my marriage license expire?
Your marriage license will expire 90 days after filing your application.
What happens if my marriage license expires?
If your marriage license expires, you must reapply. You will not receive a refund
Do I need to show ID?
Proof of age?
Bring ID that confirms your age, such as a certified copy of your birth certificate, driver's license, or passport.
Proof of identity?
Bring government-issued photo ID that confirms your identity, such as a driver's license or passport.
Do I need to show my birth certificate?
You need not bring your birth certificate, unless you're using it for ID.
Do I need to show my social security card?
You need not bring your social security card as long as you know your social security number.
Is a blood test required?
New Hampshire repealed the premarital blood test for syphilis in 1981.
Do I have to show proof of divorce?
Bring a certified copy of every prior divorce decree and civil annulment.
How soon may I marry after divorcing?
If your divorce is final, you may remarry now.
What if my divorce decree is not written in English?
Non-English divorce decrees must be translated into English. A notary public or justice of the peace must witness the translator's signature.
Do I have to show proof of being widowed?
Bring a certified copy of every prior death certificate.
How soon may I marry after a spouse's death?
You need not wait to remarry following the death of a spouse.
How do I change my name through marriage?
You may change your name after marriage with a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Is marriage name change automatic?
Your name does not automatically change after marriage. You must file the proper name change forms.
Who can change their name?
Men, women, and same-sex couples may change their names through marriage.
When do I choose my new name?
Starting January 1, 2015, couples must enter their new married on the marriage license application.
What are my last name change options?
You may take your spouse's last name or hyphenate surnames in either order.
What are my middle name change options?
You may replace your middle name with your last name before marriage.
Do I have to bring witnesses?
You do not have to bring witnesses to your marriage ceremony.
Who may officiate our marriage?
A circuit, superior, supreme, or federal court judge or justice may conduct a civil ceremony.
Justice of the peace
A justice of the peace commissioned by New Hampshire may conduct a civil ceremony.
Minister or Jewish rabbi
An ordained minister (of any denomination) or Jewish rabbi, who lives in New Hampshire, may solemnize your marriage.
Unordained clergy member
The Secretary of State may license non-ordained clergy who live in New Hampshire to solemnize marriages.
Quakers or Society of Friends
Quakers, or the Religious Society of Friends, may solemnize any marriage as they see fit.
Any person with a special marriage license
The Secretary of State may issue anyone (even nonresidents) a special marriage license to solemnize one specific marriage.
May we officiate our own marriage?
You may not self-solemnize your ceremony. You may not sign as the officiant.
What happens to my marriage license after marriage?
Your officiant must return your marriage license to the issuing clerk within six days after marriage.
How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate?
Order a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the city or town clerk's office or NH vital records.
May I go to any city or town clerk's office?
Clerks can only issue marriage certificates for licenses issued from their office.
May I get married by proxy?
New Hampshire law outlaws marriage by proxy. You must be at your ceremony.
May I marry my first cousin?
You may not marry your first cousin.
May I marry a family member?
You may not marry your grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or first cousin.
May I marry my adopted brother or adopted sister?
You may marry an adopted brother or adopted sister if not related by blood.
May I enter into a common-law marriage?
New Hampshire recognizes common-law marriage posthumously if it concluded with three years of cohabitation.
May I remarry my current spouse?
You may remarry your current spouse with a regular marriage license. Bring proof of marriage.